Mystery flower thief targets Barking family gravestone five times

18:39 17 September 2012

From right: Teresa Wright at her nan and grandad

From right: Teresa Wright at her nan and grandad's gravestone with her mother Jean Comley

Archant

An unknown flower thief has been mysteriously targeting the gravestone of a Barking family’s relatives, taking fresh stems from the site five times this year alone and leaving family members upset but defiant.

Teresa Wright, 52, has been placing flowers at the Rippleside Cemetery graves of her nan and grandad, Catherine and Cyril Comley for nearly 23 years.

She visits the site almost daily, where she pays her respects not only to her grandparents but also her sister, Tracy Marshall, who died from breast cancer aged 42. But the flowers are only taken from her grandparents’ gravestone.

“A couple of times I thought it might have been squirrels pulling them out of the vase, but then I thought it was silly and that they couldn’t have taken that many flowers,” said Mrs Wright.

The first theft happened in March and has been continuing at random intervals throughout the year. Despite leaving notes to try to deter any further thefts, the family were targeted again last week.

Mrs Wright said her uncle and aunt left flowers at the grave on Saturday September 8, but by the time she arrived there the following Monday they were gone, along with the vase.

“How desperate can some people be just for a bunch of flowers?” she said.

“It’s coming up to the anniversary of my nan’s death this week and the thought of putting flowers down only to have someone take them is sickening.”

After reporting the latest incident to cemetery staff last Wednesday, Mrs Wright insists staff are very helpful but are too few in number to tackle this sort of crime.

A council spokesman said: “We have asked staff to be extra vigilant in the light of these reported incidents.

“Unfortunately, it is very difficult for staff to tell whether a person removing flowers is genuine or otherwise.”

The council also admitted the problem is compounded by the size of the 31 acre site and that contact had been made with the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

Nonetheless, the family remain defiant. “We are still putting flowers down. I won’t stop doing it because somebody is stealing them, it isn’t fair,” said Mrs Wright.

“We take pride in looking after my nan and grandad’s grave.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Friday, April 24, 2015
Police want to talk to this woman about the incident

Police have released an image of a woman they want to speak to after a Muslim woman wearing a head scarf was racially abused on a Piccadilly line train.

Friday, April 24, 2015
Peter Mussett sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl on the DLR

A 32-year-old man carried out an ‘incredibly frightening’ sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl travelling alone on the DLR.

Friday, April 24, 2015
Police have released a CCTV image of a cyclist believed to have knocked a woman to the ground.

CCTV images of a cyclist accused of forcefully knocking a woman over in Bermondsey before speeding off have been released by police.

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Ambrose Ball has been missing since January 24

Police have recovered a body from the River Lea and believe it may be that of Ambrose Ball, who went missing in January after crashing his car.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Scotland Yard would like to speak to this man in connection with the attack [Photo by Metropolitan Police]

A 13-year-old girl was sexually attacked on a Bromley-bound bus, police have revealed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The man was attacked until he got off the train at King's Cross station (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

A Victoria Line passenger was subjected to a vile racist tirade after asking a man not to spit on the Underground.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

We have censored part of this image

Keith Fraser, the UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington has apologised after retweeting an Islamophobic cartoon which looks similar to Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of the Prophet yesterday morning.